The Poker Demonstration

Like the Blackjack Demonstration, this routine should be used at the end of the night for the finale. You must get a clear table with five chairs around it. You will, in fact, be acting as the dealer in a five-handed game of Draw Poker. The deck is stacked in the Breakthrough Card System order and should have been used for other routines as demonstrated on Mind Mysteries. By the time you begin this routine, there should be no question that the deck is unprepared and thoroughly mixed. The only other additional preparation is that the 8 of Spades, as discussed earlier, is a corner short (I will give you some advance handling tips after the main instructions).

Before you start, you must get four spectators who are familiar with the game of Draw Poker and who believe they are good players. Begin by seating everyone around the table. Your own position is not important. You must explain that you will be playing a very serious game of high-stakes Draw Poker and that everyone should play as though their own money were at stake. You also mention this game will be the last of the night and that the betting will be extremely high. Therefore, you caution the players not to bet on bad hands and that, if they are not even holding a pair, they should drop out. While you are discussing all this, you are making the following moves.

Holding the deck face up to show the randomness of the deck, get a break under the Ace of Diamonds. Double cut the cards, bring the Ace to the bottom of the face-up deck and then turn the deck face down. The Ace of Diamonds should now be the top card of the face down deck.

Shuffle off six cards singly into your left hand and then throw the rest of the deck on top. (The goal is simply to reverse those top six cards of the deck and this small unobtrusive shuffle does just that.)

Use your right thumb to riffle to the corner short and double cut it to the top. Now finish with a few jog shuffles making sure that you only grab about twenty cards or less from the bottom of the deck. (I just use the bottom quarter of the deck to be safe.) You can, of course, substitute any false table shuffle, such as a Zarrow Shuffle, that retains the entire order of the deck. Just make it look natural. A casual cut before you go into the deal is also a very good idea - more about that later.)

Deal out the five hands in the traditional way. (I suggest you turn the dealt cards face up during this explanation so you can see the exact conditions of the cards.) Notice that Player 1 will have two pairs; 8 s and 3 s. Player 2 has nothing. Player 3 has a pair of Jacks. Player 4 has a pair of Queens and you have a pair of Aces. Ask the first player if he can open with Jacks or better. Of course he can and you tell him he should bet five thousand dollars! Since no real money is being used, he will, of course, do it.

Ask Player 2 if he can stay in with at least some kind of pair. When he says no, have him throw in his cards. (Notice how you control him to toss in his cards instead of giving him an option!)

Now ask Player 3 if he is in. He should say yes, as he has a pair of Jacks. So tell him to toss in his five grand! (If he should say he is out, simply say to him, "So I guess you don't even have a pair?" When he says he does, coax him into staying in

the game. Believe me, this never happens and I am only giving you some reassurance here.)

Turn to Player 4 and handle him the same way as Player 3. Since he has a pair of Queens, there is no problem.

Announce that you are in, too, and pretend to throw in your money. (I always fan my cards in front of my eyes and let a couple of people take a peek!)

Now pick up the deck proper and ask the first person how many cards he wants. He will say 1 and you should raise your eyebrows as you deal him that!

(Remember that Player 2 is out.)

Player 3 will take three cards and so will Player 4.

You announce that you will also take three cards and deal them off to the side, but do not pick them up!

Note: the first player will get no help. Player 2 is out. Player 3 will get no help, but, just like what so often happens in a real game of Poker, he will draw two of the very same cards he just threw away. This adds tremendous realism!

Player 4 will draw two more Queens; he now has four!

And you, if you take a look, will have two more Aces! The last two will separated by the 6 of Hearts.

Go back around the table asking everyone how they want to bet. You can have a lot of fun here and, hopefully, Player Four will start to raise his bets! Let him and try to prod the other players into raising him back! All the while, you should say that you are happy with what you already saw and don't even look at your own hand.

Finally, have each player show his hand. When you see that Player 4 has four Queens, mention how you started out with a pair of Aces. Turn them over. Then turn over the top card of the three face-down ones. It will be the Ace of Hearts! Then turn over the next card. It is the 6 of Hearts. Act a bit nervous and then slowly turn over the last card. The Ace of Diamonds comes into view and the applause will be thunderous!

This routine plays so well because it really does resemble

Final Layout After Discards & Draws

how a real Poker game sometimes plays out. It is not too perfect - just perfect enough! Again, this routine reminds me of the poker game in The Sting and I can almost hear the song The Entertainer in the background!

Friendly Persuasion

Friendly Persuasion

To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them

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